Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: rifles

Firearms for the Bug Out Location

sks survival rifle

Some kind of worse case situation has happened, you and your family have to bug out to the Bug Out Location, and how what?

Keep in mind, this is a worse case situation, meaning you did not have time to grab any gear from your home. The only gear you have, is the gear you have stored at the Bug Out Location.

In such as situation, what 4 firearms would you want?

The firearms need to be reliable, somewhat service free, do not cost a small fortune and in case your Bug Out Location was broke into the firearms will be easy to replace.

The first thing people will probably say, “I want an M1A, FN/FAL, Remington Model 700 or a PTR91”. For the sake of discussion lets rule out all firearms that cost anywhere close to $1,000. In fact, lets rule out all firearms that cost over $500. This pretty much rules out all ARs and the majority of AKs. Lets go ahead and rule out all AKs just for fun.

Marlin Model 60 – the first thing people are probably going to say is, “oh come on, the Ruger 10/22 should be first”. I can respect that opinion about the Ruger 10/22, its a great rifle.

Case Against The 300 Blackout

Purpose:: This article is not to discuss the positive or negative points of the 300 Blackout, but rather should survivalist add another caliber to their collection. This is a blog of a survivalist, as such we are going to discuss topics related to prepping / survivalism and from a survivalist point of view.

History: The 300 Blackout was designed to be comparable to the 7.62X39, but to work in the AR platform. Think of a 30-30 short from an AR.

Availability: While the 300 Blackout is available in the AR platform and certain high grade bolt action platforms, it has not made the migration to the lesser expensive bolt action rifles.

When this article was published there are only a handful of bolt action rifles on the market chambered for 300 Blackout. As of early 2012 Savage has cancelled its plans for a 300 Blackout rifle. A Google search for Ruger 300 Blackout did not turn up any company related information.

From a survivalist point of view, why would I want to stockpile yet “another” caliber that is chambered in a limited number of rifles?

AK-47 For a Long Term SHTF Survival Situation

Field stripped WASR-10 AK-47

How well suited is the AK-47 for a long term SHTF survival situation? The answer is part determined in who you ask.

Last weekend my wife and I made a trip to the camp where I fired off a few rounds from the AR15, AK47 and the FN/FAL.

Some people consider it a sin not to clean your firearms immediately after you get home from the range. But on that day the grandkids were over. I did not want the kids messing around while I was trying to clean my rifles. So I decided to wait a few days before cleaning.

The house is quiet today, so I decided to clean my rifles while none of the grandkids are running around.

While I was going over the AK (its a WASR-10), I noticed how much little pieces of rust were building up here and there. The magazine (around 15 years old) is developing rust on it. This is a Chinese made AK47 magazine that I bought sometime in the mid – late 1990s. Well, I bought a lot of AK mags, but we using this one as an example. Just about all of my AK mags have some kind of rust on them.

The WASR-10 is my second AK-47. My first AK was a Maadi and it “somehow” disappeared when my exwife and I divorced. Aint it funny how things just disappear?

Long Term Magazine Storage

One of the problems with my AK mags, is that they have started to rust. Steel rust, that is just the way it is.

Just about all of my AK mags have a rather cheap coating on them. To help prevent the rust, I took a wire wheel on the grinder, buffed the rust off along with the magazine coating and painted the mag with rust-oleum.

Stockpiling Too Many Types of SHTF Survival Ammunition

Stockpiling ammunition for SHTF

In a previous article we talked about stockpiling too many types of survival ammunition. This is a recap of that other article but with some new thoughts on the topic added.

Just in case you have not been paying attention, here lately certain types of ammunition is getting difficult to find. Just about all of the surplus ammo has dried up and a lot of the bulk stuff is sold out.

My local walmart here in Jasper Texas barely gets any American Eagle 223 in stock, and rarely gets Federal 308 Winchester. Remington Core-Lokt in 308 Winchester is right at $19.96. Its pretty sick when 308 is $1 a pop. My dad has some boxes of 30-06 at the camp that has a price tag of $13.96. I wish I would have bought a truck load of ammo back when it was cheap.

Over the past few years I have been buying cheap and stacking deep. The problem with buying cheap, you get steel cased ammo. This means a lot of my 223 and 7.62×39 is steel cased. The time has come to move past the steel cased ammo. So I have started buying American Eagle 223 and Federal bulk packs of 223.

Is the SKS Still a Viable SHTF Survival Rifle

sks survival rifle

With SKS prices creeping close to the $300 price range, why are they considered a viable option for survivalist,,, or even anyone else? Back in the 1990s when you could pick up an SKS for less then $100, yea, I could see buying one then. But over the past 2 decades prices have steadily gone up, I think to the point where they are not worth the price.

Lets take the Remington model 770 – synthetic stock, factory scope, popular calibers that are more effective on deer sized game then the 7.62X39,,,, and the 770 cost right at the $300 price range.

Last year my nephew used his Remington 770 to take a doe during youth weekend. At around 50 – 75 yards, the 150 grain Remington core-lokt was devastating to the whitetail. The blood trail looked like someone turned on a waterhose.

I can see buying an SKS for its novelty, and for its history, but not for its price. The SKS is not going to be a target rifle like a modern bolt action rifle and the 7.62×39 is not as effective on deer sized game as lets say a 270 or 308.

Cost of the SKS

Stockpiling Firearms For SHTF

Whitetail deer taken with a bolt action 270 Winchester

How many people have more then firearm per caliber? What is the point of stockpiling ammo, and then have one rifle that could break? Sure people have spare parts, but spare parts do not help your buddies hunt with you.

Part of my plans call for a worse case situation, meaning I have friends or family members show up at my front door with nothing but clothes. The food starts to run out, so we head to the camp to plant a garden and do some hunting.

What firearms do you have that you can hand to a friend or family member and say “here ya go”? Its easy to pick up a spare 22 rifle from time to time, but its another thing to have 2 or 3 rifles in 308 or 30-30.

In my opinion, a well rounded plan should include the ability to provide assistance to other members of your group. Shooting ability, size of the game, shooting experience,,,, should all be considered.

Hunting after SHTF

In my eyes, hunting after some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event will be divided into 2 categories – large/medium and small game.

Depending on where you live, that will define what caliber and types of ammo you need. Someone living in Alaska will probably need a different caliber then someone in the south hunting thin skinned whitetail deer. But regardless of where you live, small game is small game. The difference between a Georgia squirrel and a Colorado squirrel is not going to be very much.

Two Rifle Calibers for SHTF survival

22 Long Rifle For SHTF

This evening my wife and I went to the camp (aka Bug Out Location) to check on things. While I was looking through the ammunition stocks, it was like someone turned on a light. I realized the ammo that I was looking at was divided into 2 categories – small rifle (22 long rifle) and medium/large rifle (30-30, 308 and 30-06).

The 223 and 7.62×39 are stored separately from the main hunting calibers. When my family goes to the camp during deer season, they do not need to dig through 500+ rounds of 223 to find a box of 30-06 or 308.

While I was looking at the 22 long rifle and the 30-30, 308 and 30-06 I realized that most people would only need 2 calibers for a shtf survival situation.

1 rifle caliber for small game hunting.

1 rifle caliber for everything else.

22 Long Rifle for SHTF

Quest for the Best SHTF Survival Rifle

SA-58 FN/FAL

For years, and I mean for “years”, my survival rifle list went something like this – Marlin 336 in 30-30, AR-15, Ruger mini-14, Ruger mini-30, AK-47, Ruger 10/22 and the Marlin model 60. The problem with that list, all of the rifles are short and medium caliber. The largest caliber rifle would have been the marlin 336 in 30-30 or the AK-47 in 7.62×39.

In my opinion, no survival rifle collection is complete without at least a rifle in the 308 Winchester and 30-06 range. When push comes to shove, a survivalist needs a rifle with some knock down power. In north America, the 308 and 30-06 are capable of taking just about any animal, except for the most dangerous grizzly or polar bear. For most applications – whitetail deer, hogs, prong horn, coyote, mule deer,,,,,, the 308 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield can fit the bill.

So where does this leave us? We could go with a bolt action rifle like the Remington model 700, Weatherby Vanguard or the Ruger model 70. But for a long term SHTF survival situation, I would like something with a detachable magazine.

Bolt actions rifles aside, this leaves us with the M1A, PTR-91, and the FN/FAL.

Best 30 Caliber SHTF Survival Rifle

.30 caliber survival rifle

If you were going to pick a .30 caliber rifle for a SHTF survival rifle, which one would it be? The contestants are: 7.62×39, 30-30, 308 and the 30-06. Lets take a look at each of those calibers, and what rifles their currently available in.

For the sake of discussion, the 30-06 is the largest caliber that will listed in this article.

7.62X39 For SHTF

The 7.62×39 was made famous by the AK-47 and SKS, developed in 1943, has seen service in major conflicts all over the world, available in civilian rifles such as the Ruger Mini-30 and various bolt action rifles.

  • Bullet weight: 110 – 155 grain
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,900 – 2,100 fps, depending on load
  • Effective range: around 350 meters
  • Availability: Plenty

There are at least 3 things that makes the 7.62X39 a good choice as a survival rifle – 1. Availability of ammunition, 2. Availability of rifles, 3. Low recoil.

Stockpiling SHTF Survival Rifle Ammunition

Whitetail deer taken with a 270 Winchester bolt action rifle

It was the last weekend of regular deer season, Saturday night. A long time member of the deer lease drives up to the camp, and backs his truck up to the scales. That is usually a sure sign that there is a deer in the back of the truck. They get the doe weighed and are stringing it up to skin when I walk out there.

As the skinning of the deer proceeds, there are a few of us standing around helping and watching. The topic turns to the cost of ammunition and bullet performance.

Like a lot of hunters, I tend to buy the cheapest ammo on the shelf – and that is usually Remington Core-Lokt. Over the past 14,,,, 15+ years Core-Lokt is about all that I have bought and shot deer with. During that time I have had no complaints. There is usually a hole going in and a larger hole going out.

The guy who shot the doe goes on to talk about Remington Core-Lokt and how he has since switched to Winchester softpoints. The rifle the guy used was a 270,,,, I do not remember the exact make or model. After talking for a little while, the person who shot the whitetail deer said that he has not been happy with the performance of the Remington Core-Lokt lately and that he felt it may not be expanding like it should. So he switched to the Winchester softpoints.

Stockpiling Too Many Types of Survival Ammunition

A couple of days ago my kids and I made a trip to the camp to drop off some Remington 30-30 Core-Lokt 150 grain and Remington 308 Core-Lokt 150 grain. While I was in the closet, I thought, “lets just stack all of the calibers together to see what we have.”

  • 30-30 Winchester – 4 boxes
  • 280 Remington / 7mm Express – 3 boxes
  • 30-06 Springfield – 4 boxes
  • 308 Winchester – 3 boxes
  • 270 Winchester – 2 boxes
  • 22 long rifle – 4 bricks
  • 223 Remington / 5.56mm – between 750 – 1,000 rounds
  • 7.62X39 – around 500 – 750 rounds

*Each “box” holds 20 rounds.

The 30-30, and 22 long rifle was probably the worst. The 30-30 had 3 different brand names and 2 different bullet weights, and the 22 long rifle had 3 different brand names.

Best Rifle and Shotgun For Surviving SHTF

white tail deer and atv

If you were going to pick two of the best firearms for surviving a long term SHTF situation, which firearms would they be? These do not “have” to be considered survival rifles or a survival shotgun, but firearms that you may shoot with all year long. The two firearm combination should be diverse enough to take everything from small game to the largest game in your area. Someone that lives in Alaska and who might run into a grizzly bear will have different rifles needs then someone that lives in Texas or Florida – because there aint no grizzly bears in Texas or Florida.

The purpose of a “survival firearm” is a little different then a Main Battle Rifle (MBR). While an MBR is designed for the military and combat, survivalist need something that is not expensive, very reliable, and effective for harvesting wild game. Which would be the better invest, a single M1a or 3 Marlin 336s in 30-30? Price is a factor here. For certain people money may not be an issue. But for most people, dropping $1,000 into a single rifle is just not feasible.

Marlin Model 336 and Marlin Model 60

Marlin model 336 – chambered in 30-30 is more then adequate for just about anything in the southern United States. The recoil of the 30-30 is not excessive, the ammunition is popular so it can be found just about anywhere, the ammunition is not expensive – so its not going to cost a fortune to stockpile 30-30 ammo, the rifle itself is not expensive – so buying more then 1 is not going to break the bank.

Mixing and Matching SHTF Survival Gear

Knives for SHTF

I find it interesting that Taco Bell can create so many items on their menu by mixing and matching about eight different ingredients. There is the taco meat, sour cream, refried beans, tortilla shell, taco shell,,,,. But by the looks of the Taco Bell menu, it appears they have a thousand ingredients.

Its called utilizing available resources. And the same can be applied to survivalism.

On the flip side of the coin from Taco Bells minimalist approach, I find it interesting that survivalist stockpile so much gear. Certain survivalist think they have to have a special “bug out bag” that is separate from their standard camping / backpacking pack, that they need several rifles

Lets backup a few years, all the way to the early – mid 1980s. Back then I (Kevin), was in High School and was busy camping and exploring the marshes around the Bridge City, Texas area. My backpack at that time was about 14 inches tall, 12 – 14 inches wide, and maybe 6 inches wide. It could have easily been a school book bag, but it was OD green and made out of a canvas material. I had one backpack for all of my camping needs. At that time, that is all I needed. The pack was just big enough for a couple of cans of vienna sausage, or chili, can opener, small pot, matches, contact case, and maybe a spare shirt or socks.

The WASR-10 AK-47

wasr-10 ak-47

The WASR-10 AK-47 is a Romanian variant of the Russian AK-47 rifle. The rifles uses a receiver made in the USA, unlike the SAR series that use a Romanian made receiver.

The equivalents with Russian models are:

  • AKM: WASR-10 (7.62×39)
  • AK-74: WASR-2 (5.45×39)
  • AK-101: WASR-3 (5.56×45)

WASR-10 Specs:

  • Overall Length: 35 inches – including muzzle break
  • Barrel: 16 inches – including muzzle break
  • Stock: Wood
  • Pistol grip: Plastic
  • Caliber: 7.62X39

The WASR-10 rifles are made with stamped receivers and were originally intended for single-stack magazines. After the so called “assualt rifle ban” expired, the receivers were milled to accept a double stack, high capacity magazine.

WASR-10 rifles feature a chrome-lined barrel and wooden stocks. The WASR-10 rifles are imported by Century Arms Intl. It is at the Century Arms Intl. factory where they widen the magazine wells and install Tapco-compliant parts.

Picking a new survival rifle

AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesI’am looking for a 308 semi-auto rifle – its to be used as my primary hunting rifle and survival rifle. This will be my “go to” rifle in the event of a disaster. Currently I have a Bushmaster AR-15 223 / 5.56mm, WASR-10 in 7.62X39, Ruger 10/22, SKS and Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle in 280/7mm Express. The goal is to have something with a little versatile then those rifles. Something that is rugged enough to take take wherever I want, but accurate enough to make 100+ yard shots and hit a baseball sized target without a bench rest. Ideal accuracy would be a 1 inch group “Minute of angle MOA” at 100 yards. But some military rifles are just not designed to have the accuracy like a bolt action hunting rifle, or the AR15.

During hunting season the purposed rifle is going to be my primary hunting rifle. I need something that is compact enough to move around a deer stand with, or use a climbing stand with, but but with a barrel long enough that accuracy is not affected. Something with an 18 – 22 inch barrel would be ideal.

This is what I have come up with so far:

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